June 15, 2008

The dynastic appeal of Barack Obama

In my new VDARE.com column, I respond to Kenan Malik's criticism in Prospect of my definition of race. His assumption that it's absurd to call the British royal family a racial group got me thinking about dynasticism again, and I finally figured out something about the essence of Barack Obama's appeal that should have been obvious to me a year ago.

It's absurd that in a huge country like America that a Bush or a Clinton has been on every national ticket since 1980. I viewed Obama's victory over the Clinton dynasty as a defeat for the forces of dynasticism, but now I realize I was being naive, that has brilliantly tapped into the public's dynastic logic, just on a larger and subtler scale.

Here's an excerpt, but you'll have to read the whole article to see how.

How to Think About Race — and Barack Obama

By Steve Sailer

A new but characteristically confused debate over whether race is a biological reality reminds me of the value of having a simple definition of "race" in mind.

Left-leaning British-Indian science journalist Kenan Malik's latest book, Strange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate, has so far only gone on sale in the U.K. But he argues online: "Race is not a real biological entity."

In a hostile review of Malik's book in Prospect, the fine British intellectual magazine, Mark Pagel, a British evolutionary biologist, lands a flurry of blows:

"Malik knows these facts about our genetics, but wants to insist that, unless 'race' corresponds to absolute boundaries, it is a useless and damaging concept. But to deny what everybody knows and to swap the word race for something less politically charged like ‘group’ is just an act of self-denial and certainly no more accurate than the dreaded ‘r’ word. It is also patronising—I would like to think we are all grown up enough to accept the facts and ready ourselves for the deluge to come. I say deluge because the more we measure, the more genetic differences we find among populations …"

Unfortunately, Pagel doesn't deliver a knockout punch because he lacks a definition of race. Like Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart wrote in his famous opinion in a pornography case, Pagel can't define race, but he knows it when he sees it.

Malik responded in Prospect by noting, with some justice, "The debate over race has moved on. To judge from his review of my book, Mark Pagel hasn't noticed."

To illustrate the state of the art thinking among the race realists he opposes, Malik writes:

"In the 19th and early 20th centuries, races were viewed as fixed groups, each with its own distinct behaviour patterns and physical characteristics. They could be ranked on an evolutionary hierarchy, with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom. Today, with a few exceptions, race realists reject the idea that there are essential, unbridgeable differences between human populations, or that differences signify inferiority or superiority. So how do they define a race? Usually as 'an extended family that is inbred to some degree' in the words of Steve Sailer of the Human Biodiversity Institute. ... But once everything from the British royal family to the entire human population can be considered a race (because each is an "extended family inbred to some degree"), then the category has little value."

[More]

Along these lines, here's an update of an update of Richmond's speech concluding Shakespeare's Richard III about the dynastic marriage to end the War of the Roses between the Yorks and Lancasters:

We will unite the white rose and the black:
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,
That long have frown'd upon their enmity!
What extremist hears me, and says not amen?
America hath long been mad, and scarr'd herself;
The rev'rend shouted his congregation's ire,
The consultant plotteth Will Horton ads
The undiverse fleeeth to the exurbs
All this divided White and Black
Divided in their dire division,

But then Barack Sr. and Stanley Ann
The true succeeders of each racial house,
By God's fair ordinance conjoin together!
And let their heir, God, if thy will be so.
Enrich the time to come with smooth-faced peace,
With smiling plenty and fair prosperous days!
Abate the edge of racists, gracious Lord,
That would demand both parties make borders secure,
And make America less inclusive
Let them not live to taste this land's increase
That would with insensitivity wound this fair land's peace!
Now civil wounds are stopp'd, peace lives again:
That she may long live here, God say amen!

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

62 comments:

Ron Guhname said...

Damn, Steve, I thought I was special. My parents are into genealogy and showed me I'm a descendant of Charlemagne. That's just like you Steve to ruin things for everybody!

will2power said...

Kenan Malik was a member of the Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist Party, still operating in all but name under the direction of its high-g Jewish crypto-rabbi Frank Furedi. You won't be surprised to hear that FF supports unlimited immigration and believes fervently in an ill-defined "human agency". Hence his disciples' dismissal of race and other uncomfortably biological aspects of human nature.

tommy said...

A race can be "strong" in two senses:

(a) The race is internally homogeneous.

Hispanics would be a weak race in this sense because individuals may range from purely European to purely Amerindian to purely African in genetic composition. The genetic "range" of Hispanics is very large. What is more, due to assortative mating, that range of genes isn't smoothly distributed.

(b) The race can be genetically differentiated from other definable races.

The British royal family would be a weak race in this sense since there is little to differentiate them from the general British or northern European population.

Relatively random mating coupled with extensive inbreeding by a group over a long period of time makes a race stronger in both senses.

Anonymous said...

I know this is way OT, but do you have any comments on the lack of riots and pillaging in Iowa compared to New Orleans during Katrina? Is it the proximity to Canada that is doing it?

Anonymous said...

that was a brilliant, brilliant article Steve. The historical parallels you draw are quite amazing because they ring immediately true. Thanx alot.

headache said...

I don't care what these morons write. I know what the difference between living under Afrikaner rule and black rule is. And nobody can theorize away the daily practical consequences of living under blacks versus Afrikaners. That is what I call racial difference and it has always been called that. These theorists don't have to live with the chaos their worldview generates.

nada said...

@ will2power:

Frank Furedi is a rabbi? Where exactly did you get that information from? I've never heard any thing of the sort about the guy.

tommy said...

Lewontin showed that virtually all human variety - 85 per cent - occurred between individuals within single populations. A further 7 per cent differentiated populations within what we call a race. Only 8 per cent of total variation distinguished the major races.

[...]

At first sight such studies seem to demolish the biological idea of race. Racial differences appear too small to be meaningful. Tiny genetic differences can, however, have a huge impact. From a genetic point of view poodles and greyhounds are almost identical, yet they are physically and behaviourally distinct. Humans and chimpanzees share about 99.4 per cent of their functional genes but are clearly different species. So the fact that race accounts for only around four per cent of genetic variation among humans does not necessarily mean that race has no biological validity. That four per cent could, theoretically, make all the difference in the world.


Well, I'm happy to see Malik doesn't resort to invoking Lewontin's other fallacy.

'There are no sharp distinctions between populations'

[...]

But countless real categories have fuzzy boundaries. Among many non-human animals, for instance, subspecies are often separated by a continuous gradation rather than by a sharp boundary. The fuzziness of boundaries does not necessarily deny the existence of races.


Correct. Just as the existence of intermediate dialects between Spanish and Portuguese does not disprove the existence of a Spanish language, let alone disprove the existence of language itself.

Give them credit, Steve. They're learning... slowly.

Malik is right to object to an overly rigid definition of race, but as I pointed out, we can quantify races by features like relative homogeneity and differentiability. I can imagine a slew of other ways to investigate the structure of race using simple statistical and probabilistic methods. It's this sort of investigation that can grant the concept of race a greater depth and dimensionality than it has enjoyed in the past. The Sailerian definition of race is the kind of fluid, relativistic definition we need to proceed in doing so.

Malik seems to understand the problems with traditional definitions of race but he doesn't seem to understand that Steve's definition can remedy those objections.

robert61 said...

You could further strengthen your definition of race with reference to other Germanic languages such as German and Swedish: e.g. pedigreed dog - Rassehund (G), rashund (S); thoroughbred horse - Rassepferd (G), usually fullblod but also rashäst (S).

In re tommy's remark above, the British royals are distinguishable from both the general British population and the northern European population. The Windsors are German royalty, related by blood to the other royal families of Europe. Whatever else you think of them, they are a special breed.

Finally, kudos on a brilliant conclusion: Obama the race-uniting prince is obviously a key metaphor of his campaign.

halfbreed said...

The race deniers' argument basically boils down to, since there are people of medium height, the concepts of tall and short have no validity.

The next time you speak to a race denier, try the following line of argument-stopping logic with him: since there's no such thing as race, then there can be no such thing as racism, either, right? Or racial epithets, for that matter. If one doesn't exist, then neither can the others? So what are these idiots screaming about all the time?

Mary Pat said...

Jeeez, my pale-as-a-ghost uncle married my black-as-midnight aunt, and nobody argued that it was some ground-breaking achievement that would reconcile the races to each other. And it's not like my uncle was married to more than one woman or abandoned his children. I guess that's why my cousins aren't running for president. Well, and the fact that they're in their mid-20s. There's still hope! (and change!)

Heck, in my southern side of the family it was considered far more scandalous that my dad married a Yankee Catholic.

halfbreed said...

To say that most variation lies within a race rather than between races is akin to saying that white IQs range from, say, 40 to 200, while black IQs range from, say, 40to 180, thus there is more statistical variation within each race than between the races, even if the races have different averages of 100 and 85. (I'm making the first set of numbers up for the sake of argument, but you get the point.) In any case, the range of each race doesn't obscure the different average. Or am I misinterpreting?

Anonymous said...

In any case, the range of each race doesn't obscure the different average. Or am I misinterpreting?

I think you are. IQ deniers (not that you are one) cling to that "overlap" for way more than it's worth. Trouble is, the curve is different for the races. I did not understand the concept of a "narrow curve" until I started studying this subject. When a curve is narrow, the average is bunched up around a particular point. A wider curver means less bunching around a particular point and more spread on either side.
The black IQ is bunched up around 85 (actually 82 but it's usually rounded up because 85 sounds better than 82). 90% of all blacks fall under 90. The percentage of those with IQs over 100, much less 120, is less than you would extrapolate if the curve was as proportionately wide at that of the white. I am not sure of northeast Asian IQ spread.
What this means is that the percentage of blacks with IQs in the 120 ranges is much small than the percentage of whites with IQs in that range. Smaller than you would expect. Over 130 and there are only a few thousand blacks in the whole country with IQs at that level. Of course they are around, and I've known some, but they are rare. Without affirmative action, very few would ever get into upper management or professional positions. I understand that since AA was eliminated in California, virtually no blacks have been admitted to certain upper tier schools. Higher SES is no help in the larger picture. Black kids whose parents make over 70,000 door more poorly on SATs than whites whose parents make 20,000. This is well known.
So yeah, there will be a handful of blacks with very high potential, but arguments like yours always seem to remain in the realm of myth and theorizing. Evidence on the ground indicates these occasional freakish higher IQs don't make much difference in the overall picture of racial achievement, though a few individuals will benefit and the companies that hire them will be relieved to have their quotas met with those rarities who actually have the brains for the job.

dearieme said...

Her Majesty's mother, the "Queen Mum", was British or, if you like to narrow it down, Scottish. Prince Charles's father is (I understand) of part Danish descent. Prince William's mother was British or, if you like to narrow it down, English. So by the time he's on the throne, the racist taunting of the Windsors as 'Germans' will be even feebler than it is now.

Henry Canaday said...

My primitive mind has thought that, ever since the medieval debate over nominalism versus realism ended, most scientists had agreed that a real name, grouping, description, classification or whatever was one that aided in prediction of future or unknown events that was better than random guessing. Which the idea of race undoubtedly does, when used carefully.

John of London said...

Hi Steve

"Race, it turns out, is about who your relatives are—a tautology with manifold implications."

This is not always true. I think the strongest practical evidence against the objective existence of "race" is that apartheid South Africa, a constitionally racist state, couldn't come up with a workable scientific definition of race; and if anyone could have, they would have. The South African Racial Classification Act said, in essence, that your race is what you look like. Contrary to what Steve said, this could lead to a child's being classified as of a different race from its parents.
halfbreed's claim that if race doesn't exist neither can racism is obviously false. I assume halfbreed doesn't believe in witches (altho' you can never be sure about that sort of thing on this site); would she therefore maintain that the European witch mania of the 16th and 17th centuries did not exist?

David said...

It has long been one of the most overused weapons of philosophical dishonesty: to deny the accuracy of human cognition by referencing "borderline cases" and implying that they invalidate a given concept.

The dirty game works like this: there is no such thing as black or white, just varying shades of gray; therefore all of our thinking is merely arbitrary; what we think exists doesn't exist; so shut up.

The nihilists who pull this gag often are only pseudo. They never pull it on their religious belief in (say) the Righteousness of a Totalitarian State.

"Students! You think there is such a thing as water? Ha! Allow me to show you the futility of human thought! Sometimes 'water' is a gas, sometimes a solid, sometimes a liquid. Even those are merely changeable particles whirling among others. Everything blurs together, so nothing exists and your certainties are vanities! There's nothing left to do but to love me and Big Brother."

The same data can be organized a limited number of different ways for varying human purposes, but the data exist independently. Analogy: A pencil exists, but you can use it as you wish within limits.

Thus much for the nihilists, pseudo and otherwise.

But to grasp this correct epistemology requires intelligence, and moreover it isn't taught. Very little relational thinking is taught. (I'm not sure if even the ideas of "mean" "average" and "median" are taught anymore, except to a tiny, select few.)

If anybody homeschools, they should introduce this issue right away, to inoculate their children; for this purpose, Steve's VDARE article is a superb text for, say, 12 years and up. (Do it on the sly - else Child Services and/or tanks may come rolling in.)

Roger Chaillet said...

Celebrate differences.

Just don't notice them.

Great title for Steve's long awaited book.

I thought Steve was going to mention the fact that Obama is a distant relative of Cheney and Bush both. http://www.nypost.com/seven/10172007/news/regionalnews/dissing_cousins__obama__cheney.htm

Writer Richard Poe had an interesting piece a few years ago about how so many presidents were somehow related to one another. Oddsmakers even placed bets on who would win based on royal(?) blood.

Is this is what is meant by dynasty?

icr said...

OK, throw out the concept of race AKA subspecies. You'll find that the concept of species can, at times, be rather slippery as well:
Inbred Thinking
(...)
Most people assume a Mallard duck is a Mallard duck. Aren't all Mallards simply clones of each other? Well, No. You see, ducks hybridize all the time. What appears to be a Mallard may, in fact, have a little Gadwall crossed into it, or a little Black Duck, or even a bit of Greenwinged duck tucked into its double-helix.

In the duck world, where success is defined in Darwinian terms, there are no closed registries. While animals within a species tend to mate with others of the species in the same area, new blood flies, walks or swims in all the time. In the case of ducks, it may even come from across the ocean -- or from an entirely different duck species.

The same effect occurs when young male fox, lions, and wolves are forced out of their natal territories, causing them to travel great distances to find unoccupied territories. A young male wolf sired in Wyoming may travel as far as Oregon before it "settles down" to rear its own family.

What is true for ducks is true for a lot of animals. Not only will individual animals often travel great distances to find unoccupied territories, they may also cross the species barrier as they do so. A wolf will mate with both a dog AND a coyote, while finches leap across the species barrier at the drop of a hat. A spotted owl will freely mate with a barred owl, while most amazon parrots freely cross breed. A lion can mate with a tiger and produce fertile offspring, and an African elephant can cross breed with an Asian elephant. A muskellunge will cross with a northern pike, and a sunfish will cross with a bluegill. Trout and salmon species readily hybridize. Many species of hawks and falcons will also cross the species line, while a buffalo will cross with a cow. Just last week a hunter in Alaska shot an animal that turned out to be a cross between a polar bear and a grizzly.

The point here is not that trans-species outcrosses are common, but that even between distinct species Mother Nature often runs her train "loose on the tracks," and a considerable amount of genetic wobble is allowed.
(...)

P.S. Do a little googling and you'll find that the vast majority of American Bison are actually Bison-Cattle hybrids.

Born Again Democrat said...

re: difining race

I still prefer Greg Cochran's definition of race:

"a group that has been subject to strong enough selective pressures for long enough, with low enough gene flow, to end up demonstrably different from other groups."

I wonder if this definition might even be useful for bi-racial samples. I've noticed that black-Ashkenazie crosses (Maya Rudolph, Lani Guinier) have a nice combination of black and Jewish traits.

Heretical thought for genetic engineering:

What would happen if a cult of young Ashkenazie males took it upon themselves to hitchhike through Africa impregnating as many nubile young females as possible. Doing good by having fun. Spreading the seed of Abraham.

Good God,why do I post under my real name? Reckless gene, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

The argument is a bit of a stretch, but intriguing all the same. Steve, have you considered writing a book on Obama? No doubt Mark Steyn did very well with _America Alone_. If you could package a book on Obama in such a way as to make it semi-respectable and not too over-the-top, it could be a big hit and great read.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer: By beginning with 380 words about his family background, Obama positioned himself as the promised prince, the offspring of a marital alliance between the black and white races: He is the one we've been waiting for, the mutual heir who will unite black and white.

Sooner or later, even The Left is gonna get sick of looking at Obama's lips.

Just wait until unemployment is at 7.5%, inflation is at 10%, and the deficit is at $500 billion in the first Obama administration - Saturday Night Live will be doing all sorts of skits about "The Color Purple".

Svigor said...

The next time you speak to a race denier, try the following line of argument-stopping logic with him: since there's no such thing as race, then there can be no such thing as racism, either, right? Or racial epithets, for that matter.

In this case, the answer is that race is real insofar as it's evil whitey's social construct, thus justifying wacko leftist Clockwork Orange fantasies. There are no argument-stoppers with leftists. All you can do is humiliate them in front of others.

To say that most variation lies within a race rather than between races

Is to be an ass. Seriously, this is the most facile argument ever. There is no sex because there's more height variance within the "sexes" than there is between them! Really, really dumb!

Or am I misinterpreting?

No, you aren't. The argument really is that dumb.

will2power said...

@ nada -- I didn't say Furedi was a rabbi, but a crypto-rabbi. I.e., like Marx or Leo Strauss or Freud, he fulfils the functions of a rabbi in a disguised form, being a charismatic, verbally dexterous scholar whose disciples show little or no independence of mind in following his prescriptions for life. Marx begat Trotsky begat Furedi. Kenan Malik was one of the Revolutionary Communist Party's candidates in the 1987 British general election, after Furedi decided the RCP would sweep to power on the proletariat vote. Neither Furedi's nor Malik's judgment and understanding have improved much since then. Both have strong motives for denying the existence and importance of race.

AMac said...

It's worth providing links to two of the papers that show that racial identity can be determined with high accuracy and precision from genetic data (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNPs).

Oscar Lao et al, Proportioning Whole-Genome SNP Diversity for the Identification of Geographic Population Structure and Genetic Ancestry, Am J Hum Genet 78: 680, 2006.

Peristera Paschou et al, PCA-Correlated SNPs for Structure Identification in Worldwide Human Populations, PLoS Genet 9: e160, 2007.

Read the abstracts to get a sense of how far the state of the art had advanced by November 2005 and April 2007, respectively (the dates the papers were first submitted).

So Richard Lewontin and Kenan Malik believe that "race" is not real, or choose words more carefully to suggest that it's not a meaningful concept.

Incessant technical progress and the damnable curiosity of working scientists make that argument harder and harder to sustain.

Robert said...

I was into geneaology for a while after finding my Great-Grandmother's application to the DAR which listed her ancestors back to the Revolution. After a while I realized that if you go back far enough you are pretty much related to all people of your nationality. It also seemed that the American nation is more interrelated than people think. There are all sorts of news stories stating how weird it is that Barack Obama is related to Dick Chaney or that Jimmy Carter is distantly related to Elvis who is distantly related to Oprah. Another is the fact that most of the presidents are distanly related to one another. This is because, since the European settlers first came to America in 1607, they have been intermarring and have become more and more interrelated. This is especially true of the WASPs who can trace their families back 300 or 350 years back in this country. This is how races begin.

regularjoe said...

Halfbreed,

it doesn't follow that if race was a fictional category there could be no such thing as racism or racial epithets. I can be enamored with Klingons and be willing to oh, learn their goofy language and attend conventions with others who also do, without Klingons ever existing.

Race is real, no duh, but that's a very weak argument.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the concept of race is exactly the same problem with the concept of species or the concept of purple.

The term race is an analog term. The term purple is an analog term while the RGB colorspace definition (138,16,224) is digital.

Heredity is discontinuous and discrete or what we may for convienience term digital. The property space of heredity is more complex than RGB but ultimately human characteristics come in discrete units popularly called genes that are on-off in nature not continuously variable.

We lack a quantitative terminolgy presently to describe the heredity property space so we continue now with absurdities like calling Obama "black".

We need a numerical coordinate system that maps to the human genome. Then we need a statistical methodology somewhat like factor analysis that uncovers clusters. Cavalli-Sforza has made a start on this work but only a start.

Until this work is done we are like fashion designers arguing over what is "really" purple.

Desmond Jones said...

Witherspoon et al. Important Race Study

Thus, the naïve “anti-racist” view, actually stated by some people, that it is possible for individual Europeans and Africans to be more genetically similar to each other than to members of their own race, is simply false. Any such “finding” is simply due to insufficient numbers of DNA markers being used. With an adequate methodology, individual members of the major racial groups will always be more similar to members of their own group than to members of other groups. Some may not like this, and deem it “racist," but these are the scientific facts, nonetheless.

testing99 said...

Steve -- If Obama's appeal is based on the idea of some bi-racial dynasty uniting Black and White, that's a very limited base.

Most working and middle class whites have shown they want to move as far away as possible from Blacks and have as little to do with them as possible. This is seen in housing, employment, and other patterns. Football stadiums in say, Oakland or Pittsburgh are self-segregating. White fans and Black fans sit in separate sections.

To whom does this dynastic impulse, to create a new "uniting" dynasty belong to? Why the new aristocracy, the media and political and yuppie elites. The people at Trader Joes or Apple Computer stores. Not particularly large in terms of votes I'd think.

Democrats don't seem to be able to even apply simple Rovian analysis. I don't think Rove is brilliant, just able from time to time to see some obvious things and count things.

no man's land said...

I note for the "Jews are behind all race denial and everything else bad in the world" crowd that Mark Pagel, to judge by his appearance and name, is almost certainly a Jew. Just another crypto-rabbinic race-denier ;)

free love and marxism said...

"The point here is not that trans-species outcrosses are common, but that even between distinct species Mother Nature often runs her train "loose on the tracks," and a considerable amount of genetic wobble is allowed."

Isn't the point that the recognized species of duck was isolated enough at some point to develop distinct features. As far as hybrids are concerned, they may mate with some other hybridized creature, or with a creature belonging to the more well-defined category. Enough of the crossed species mating in a pattern may create another species. It's kind of a preponderance of the genetic material

The comparison between animals and humans does break down to an extent with regards to humans from different races being very mobile and willing to settle in new countries. However, the geographic isolation that created species and races may well be replaced by socioeconomic isolation.

There may be some randomness but awareness of "wobblines" or what may even be a transition period doesn't negate the patterns. Referring to the article, Obama's is a somewhat isolated case vs what I believe are more numerous pairings of WASP American's with Mexicans or Asians.

Blode said...

"This is not always true. I think the strongest practical evidence against the objective existence of "race" is that apartheid South Africa, a constitionally racist state, couldn't come up with a workable scientific definition of race; and if anyone could have, they would have. The South African Racial Classification Act said, in essence, that your race is what you look like. Contrary to what Steve said, this could lead to a child's being classified as of a different race from its parents." - john of london

I wonder why they didn't hire some American forensic specialists to determine race from DNA samples. Perhaps it was a matter of cost? I gather that the race a person self-selects as is almost always the same as that determined by forensic tests.

Of course, you wouldn't be able to calibrate tests that way in apartheid-era South Africa, where Blacks commonly wanted to be identified as Coloreds, and Coloreds would naturally want to be Identified as Whites. But you could use self-identification data from other countries to test the tests.

In any case, problems coming up with a unanimous (or even objective) definition of race are much bigger problems for race-denying advocates of affirmative action than they are for a citizenist who advocates race-blind public policy, even if he advocates recognition of race by scientists.

Or do you believe my blond, blue-eyed nephew will be able to take advantage of de facto race-norming policies, that will compare him only to his (chosen) African American brethren?

Anonymous said...

Previous comment: "Another is the fact that most of the presidents are distanly related to one another. This is because, since the European settlers first came to America in 1607, they have been intermarring and have become more and more interrelated. This is especially true of the WASPs who can trace their families back 300 or 350 years back in this country. This is how races begin. "

Can we say that Presidents are distantly related to each other because they are the offspring of deliberate endogamy over generations?

Are you claiming endogamy is being deliberately practiced among the American Upper Class today?

This is news to me, although I might be wrong: I don't vacation at The Breakers in Palm Beach, did not attend Choate.

Upper crust readers please fill me in.

nada said...

@ will2power:

Thanks for the clarification. I agree with your assessment of the situation and dismay over the denial of the existence of race. It's a relevant characterization of Obama supporters as well (as discussed heavily on this site).

However, I'm still confused as to why you choose the term "rabbi" and not a general term like demagogue or even pastor. Is it because all your examples are ethnically Jewish or was that not a coincidence?

Anonymous said...

"I wonder why they didn't hire some American forensic specialists to determine race from DNA samples. Perhaps it was a matter of cost? I gather that the race a person self-selects as is almost always the same as that determined by forensic tests."

And the matter of the non-existence of such tests before the end of the end of the old South Africa.

Martin said...

"John of London said...

"Race, it turns out, is about who your relatives are—a tautology with manifold implications."

This is not always true. I think the strongest practical evidence against the objective existence of "race" is that apartheid South Africa, a constitionally racist state, couldn't come up with a workable scientific definition of race; and if anyone could have, they would have. The South African Racial Classification Act said, in essence, that your race is what you look like."

And what someone looks like will get you the right answer (as to what race they are) in the vast majority of cases. I'm sure the fidelity of such a test more than suited the Afrikanners' purposes.

"Contrary to what Steve said, this could lead to a child's being classified as of a different race from its parents."

Only marignally different from his parents, but vastly different from his great-great-great grandparents. If barack Obama were only 1/16th black, then we wouldn't call him black at all, and neither would he. He would be white.

"halfbreed's claim that if race doesn't exist neither can racism is obviously false."

Arguments like this clearly have a point - and a good one. You're right that racism would be possible, even if race - as a category - did not exist. People believe they were abducted by aliens, although it never happened. But if race is a completely meaningless category, then how do I (the opressor) know whom to oppress? What attribute guides me in my selecting my victim? Skin color alone? Why? If I held a racial animus towards blacks, it wouldn't necessarily extend to southern Indians, who can be just as dark or darker, or for that matter, very tanned people. Women look very different from me, but I don't dislike them for it. The severely crippled or horribly maimed look very different, but I don't hold it against them. Clearly, it's not just skin color. As indeed there is a whole cluster of features that goes along with a particular race - skin color, facial structure, body type, hair color, etc., to say nothing, one might add, of inward traits.

Look this is all stuff that everyone, everywhere knew as recently as 30 years ago - that there is such a thing as race, that's it's real, and that's it's based on your lineage. It took an army of leftist indoctrinated teachers and profs in schools and universities that long to bring us to a point where people such as yourself would believe otherwise. And face up to this - if you were presented with three people - a Hottentot, a Finn, and a Cambodian, and would stare at them agape and befuddled, unable to distinguish between them, then you are just deluded.

Martin said...

The Obama-as-King-in-waiting image is one the democrats love. I wouldn't be surprised if they have him pull a sword out of a stone on stage at the convention.

The democrats - ostensibly the party of the workin' man (even if nowadays that workin' joe is a homosexual bond-trader) - love the idea of royalty. They don't just want to vote for a president - they want to crown him. Look at the personality cult that's been built up around JFK. Or even the one built up around Clinton. Even Kaiser Wilhelm never had such obsequious lick-spittles as the democratic party nominee (whoever he might be) can claim.

Conservatives typically don't go in for it as much. They want to know what a politician will do for them, more than vicariously bask in their glory. No republican ever felt slavish awe for Richard Nixon. He was just "our guy" looking out for our (the silent majority's) interests, even if - as it turned out - he wasn't our guy, and he wasn't looking our for our interests. There was an attempt by some of Reagan's inner circle to build a cult of personality around him, although I don't think Reagan himself approved of it or was a party to it.

Oddly, the closest that the republicans have come to building a personality cult is around G.W. Bush, a most unlikely candidate for one. Just remember back on all the fawning tripe written about him by the fan-boys at National Review. But then, neither he, nor they, are really conservatives anymore.

will2power said...

@ no man's land

I note for the "Jews are behind all race denial and everything else bad in the world" crowd that Mark Pagel, to judge by his appearance and name, is almost certainly a Jew. Just another crypto-rabbinic race-denier ;)

That crowd doesn't exist. But clearly Jews are strongly over-represented at the top of race denial, as they are in the pro-immigration crowd. As race realism gets stronger and stronger, more Jews are joining it, but in part that is to make sure it doesn't harm Jewish interests too much.

@ nada

However, I'm still confused as to why you choose the term "rabbi" and not a general term like demagogue or even pastor. Is it because all your examples are ethnically Jewish or was that not a coincidence?

It's not a coincidence. That combination of traits (high IQ, scholarship, charisma, authoritarianism) is characteristic of rabbis, not pastors, and seems genetically based.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

"And the matter of the non-existence of such [genetic] tests [to classify people by race] before the end of the end of the old South Africa."

True, but forensics experts at the time (and well before) were capable of classifying someone's race nearly as accurately by measuring and calculating rations of various skull and facial bones.
These techniques have long been used for criminal investigations.

Anonymous said...

This is news to me, although I might be wrong: I don't vacation at The Breakers in Palm Beach, did not attend Choate.

It's old news actually. Here's one site among many with the info http://www.who2.com/relatedpresidents.html
JFK was not related to any and there were some others, but most were related. I think some of it was that well-educated people, even self-educated like Lincoln, were not too common despite very high literacy. So uppercrust families would marry among themselves. New Englanders were especially prolific and their mortality rate was unusually low for the day. I have researched my genealogy backto 17th c. Connecticut, and am amazed at the 8-15 child families, almost all whom lived to grow up and reproduce more 10 child families.
There are millions of people related to various presidents.

Anonymous said...

"Oddly, the closest that the republicans have come to building a personality cult is around G.W. Bush, a most unlikely candidate for one."

Nonsense. He's one of those empty suits that make good hand puppets. If there is any Republican personality cult, it was for Reagan.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I agree. I think a lot of moderate white voters are going to vote for B.O. as a vote for racial reconciliation.

And the English analogy is a good one. The English public hated the civil war, and a new monarch that unites the two houses I am sure would have won in a landslide if they had elections back then.

JohnnyR said...

Obama, by the way, is going to win in a landslide. This is going to be 1996 all over again. Don't tell me McCain doesn't remind you of Dole, and Obama of Clinton.

And of course demographics have shifted by 2 or 3 points in Obama's direction since 1996 (12 years ago!).

The biggest lead Bush ever had over Kerry in the Real Clear Politics "polling average" was 2.5%. Right now Obama is up by 4.0% in the RCP poll average and by 5.7% in the pollster.com average of polls.

David said...

anon. said

True, but forensics experts at the time (and well before) were capable of classifying someone's race nearly as accurately by measuring and calculating rations of various skull and facial bones.
These techniques have long been used for criminal investigations.


Yes, the problem though is that Pastor "Mismeasure of Man" S.J. Gould, and his colleagues, would've shrieked their heads off, and maybe called their buddies in government, in protest against such "nutty Nazi evil." (Btw, how does one indicate an eye-roll emoticon in these comments?)

josh said...

I wonder if guys like Kenan Malik are more likely than average to have black neighbors? The answer to that question is obvious. One thing womens lib got right is their slogan,"the personal is political." Of course people like him would respond,"I am a brilliant well paid intellectual. Of course I seek to live in the nicest parts of town-the fact that they're 99% non-black,well thats societeys fault;its immaterial to me." But when his little daughter Taylor(or the Brit equivalent) comes home from Oxford and wants to take a cheap apartment,and finds a nice flat in Brixton,Kenan would go into full Mel Brooksian mode and sneer,"Are you aware that that area is loaded with ni-",suddenly going silent. "Ni? Whats that,dear father?" Nope you wont see too mnay mebers of the Malik clan doing the hard work of integrating with races that dont exist!

testing99 said...

Anyone who thinks Obama is going to win, much less in a landslide, is nuts.

He couldn't even close the deal over Hillary Clinton in large, working-class states with large numbers of Blacks.

It's winner take all, not proportional as in the Dem Primary, so the larger white working class along with conservatives are going to vote for the liberal Democrat (McCain) over the hard-left, Racialist Black Nationalist candidate, Farrakhan Jr er ... Obama.

Obama is already defined by Wright, Ayers, Pfleger, etc. as the Farrakhan pawn that he is. You're making the big mistake of confusing marketing demos (where a 4% slice of the population, say tween girls, is worth more than a 25% slice of the population, say female elderly) with voting reality.

Even though marketers want tween girls over elderly females, their votes count the same and there's a heck of a lot more of the latter than the former (baby bust reality).

Obama is ALREADY writing off Ohio and Florida.

no man's land said...

As race realism gets stronger and stronger, more Jews are joining it, but in part that is to make sure it doesn't harm Jewish interests too much.

Jews aren't "joining" the race realist movement - they are pioneers in it. Ever hear of Richard Herrnstein, Michael Levin, Michael Hart, Arthur Jensen (half-Jew)? Jews are as overrepresented among race realists as they are among race deniers.

And the bit about "Jewish interests" is ridiculous McDonaldian nonsense.

Martin said...

"Anonymous said...

"Oddly, the closest that the republicans have come to building a personality cult is around G.W. Bush, a most unlikely candidate for one."

Nonsense. He's one of those empty suits that make good hand puppets. If there is any Republican personality cult, it was for Reagan."

Nonsense? Nonsense! What about all those "W" bumper stickers, and the even creepier "W - the President" bumper stickers. Not to mention all the fawning articles on Bush in the National Review going back to 1999. Why, on the so-called conservative websites (like Ace of Spades for example) he was made out to be the second coming of George Washington. As I said, it beggars the imagination that anyone would try to make a hero figure out of a man like G.W. Bush (who was, let's not forget, a cheerleader in college), but the Republican party did indeed try.

Blode said...

Thanks to no man's land for the list. I would have forgotten Levin.

Let me address the witchcraft vs. race thing.

"I believe I am discriminated against in hiring decisions. HR people are prejudiced against me because they believe me to be a witch, and they believe witches make bad employees. Thus I demand to only be compared against other witches, and I demand that witches become a certain minimum percentage of every workforce."

"But there is no proof for the existence of witches! Major progressive scientists say they don't exist, the King James version of the Bible notwithstanding."

"Ah, society believes me to be a witch. I can tell, because of how uncomfortable I feel in certain social situations. My soul is on ice, I tell you. Dry ice!"

"So why should you get AA benefits as a witch, and not everyone?"

"Because I self-identify as a witch."

David said...

Bush was golden until he started that "two-state solution" / "roadmap" talk. That's the precise moment when the bloom starting coming off the rose.

After that, he was progressively abandoned - first because he was "weak" in prosecuting the war, then because "he made so many mistakes with the war" (the war itself being a mistake is a "radical" conjecture) - and finally allowed to unravel.

Now someone else will have to nuke Iran, I guess.

Massive White flight to McCain may have been foreseen?

Oops, there I go with my conspiracy theories again....

David said...

no man's land said,

And the bit about "Jewish interests" is ridiculous McDonaldian nonsense.

Yes, because we all know Jews have no interests, or are always perfectly disinterested.

What an extraordinary claim! I suppose Jews are better than the rest of the human race.

Anonymous said...

"This is news to me, although I might be wrong: I don't vacation at The Breakers in Palm Beach, did not attend Choate.

It's old news actually. Here's one site among many... ..There are millions of people related to various presidents."

So you're saying I'm right. You're admitting purposeful endogamy and marriage among cousins is NOT presently occurring among the upper class.

Obviously, there are millions of Americans related to various presidents. Just like there are millions of descendants of Genghis Khan. Who cares? This is not purposeful dynastic arranged marriage.

If purposeful dynastic arranged marriage WERE occurring, European-derived Christian above average IQ Americans might be more competitive as a class, more effective in defending our interests.

SFG said...

As race realism gets stronger and stronger, more Jews are joining it, but in part that is to make sure it doesn't harm Jewish interests too much.
I don't think it's that calculated. Most likely people join movements they like and, should they achieve prominence, tend to steer things in a direction they like. Most Jews are still terrified of anything that smacks of Nazism, though the younger ones who have no connection to the Freudian-Marxist intellectual tradition (which made some important discoveries and then ossified, sort of like the deal where Aristotle was really a great scientist but sticking to his stuff for 2000 years held science back in Europe) think some of the genetics stuff is neat.

Jews aren't "joining" the race realist movement - they are pioneers in it. Ever hear of Richard Herrnstein, Michael Levin, Michael Hart, Arthur Jensen (half-Jew)? Jews are as overrepresented among race realists as they are among race deniers.
I wish! There's a long history of race denial among Jews, much of which is based in history (race realist with funny mustache). You can find a few Jews who are race realists but most are really against it.

And the bit about "Jewish interests" is ridiculous McDonaldian nonsense.
I actually kind of agree with McDonald, although I don't know about the whole bit about driving fertility down. There are people who blame every development since 1960 they don't like on the Jews, which seems a bit excessive and simpleminded: as Inductivist has pointed out, high-church Episcopalians have many of the same ideals). I do wonder how much of the whole mess was due to a misplaced desire to copy European social democracy: no offense to the patriots here, but this 'free market' stuff really sucks. You work 60 hours a week for some business that'll toss you out on your ear if you look at the boss the wrong way, commute 2 hours to your job, and eat fattening crap that gives you diabetes. America ain't the greatest country in the world, at least not anymore.

Also, the Christian Right's Israel-worship seems to be something they did on their own initiative. The Jews won't touch them (there was an article about a rabbi who did and was ostracized for it), and yet they still want to support Israel so Jesus can come back.

n/a said...

, Arthur Jensen (half-Jew)?

This is misinformation, spawned by Sailer (who has never issued a correction) and propagated by the gnxp crowd. Jensen had a single Jewish grandparent, making him about 1/4 Jewish.

Jews are as overrepresented among race realists as they are among race deniers.

Too ridiculous to bother responding to.

William said...

There are people who blame every development since 1960 they don't like on the Jews

Only the developments since the 60s? Ha! Seems to me there was something happened not long before the 60s that blamed the Jews for lots of other things.

Seems to me it's quite possible for a nation of people to shit their own nest even without lots of Jews around. Lots of nations doing that right now, in fact. The question is are nations more likely to shit their own nest because of the presence of (relatively) large numbers of Jews? Are Jews, either through their numbers or, more likely, their outsized intellectual, financial, cultural and political influence, more likely to cause a nation to shit its own nest? That's a reasonable discussion.

To blame "the Jews" for making up their minds based on what in their minds is in the best interests of "the Jews" seems to me a bit silly. Surely some very weak minds do: John Podhoretz, etc. But there are plenty of Jews on the right side of the race/immigration/whatever debates: Mickey Kaus, David Frum, Ira Mehlman, Steven Steinlight, Jonah Goldberg, Marcus Epstein, Mark Steyn (partly), etc.

Now unless you have solid evidence to prove it, blaming "the Jews" for deciding their positions on things based on some alleged groupthink is shitting your nest, since we shouldn't want to marginalize a potential ally on any issue.

Anonymous said...

"Why, on the so-called conservative websites (like Ace of Spades for example) he was made out to be the second coming of George Washington."
I don't think we are a million miles away from common ground, it's just that I tend to look straight THROUGH the guy up front, because he is rarely, especially in a democracy, the one with real power.
Believe it or not,there are people paid to sing the praises of people in ostensible power. The payment may be direct or indirect. I doubt any signifcant number (say more than 2%) of individuals really think W is anything but a hand puppet. There are, however, many people who gain from policies promoted by them, through this puppet. For crissake. This has been going on for centuries. There is nobody so willfully, and so unforgivably naive as Americans. Every criminal lawyer knows that crimes may be conspiracies and they always test the water for them. But every major American political crime must absolutely not be a conspiracy but perpetrated by "lone nuts" or the odd criminal. The media has colluded in this attitude increasingly since 1963 and anybody who questions the official line is also a nut. Do you ever wonder why fewer and fewer people own the media? Or why fewer and fewer people bother to read newspapers?

Anonymous said...

"Obama will win in a landslide.."
I think Obama campaign runners have their little pinkie marks all over the blogosphere.
Webster Griffin Tarpley, in my opinion the most brilliant political historian going, has pointed out that Hillary Clinton won more popular votes than any candidate running. The press has been mean to her. Sickening sweet to Obama. I won't mention why since that's another whole story, but it is doubtful he will "win in a landslide." Lose in a landslide more likely, although the vote stealing apparatus is likely more sophisticated than it was in 2000.

Michael 'the dago' T said...

Jews are as overrepresented among race realists as they are among race deniers.


Add this this guy to the rogue's gallery among the Lewontins and the Goulds and the Roses.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/marek.kohn/intro.html

Check out his slogan, "For free speech -- against racism." Yeah, because racists are really killing freedom of speech, you know. The sheer cheek of it!

William said...

Obama will win in a landslide.

Obama's problem is that the "bitterest" groups which he's pissed off the most have the potential to swing some very big states, while the groups he's most attracted to his campaign only have the potential to swing two or three small states. Colorado and New Mexico may go his way, but that matters not if he loses Michigan and Pennsylvania.

I've long thought that winning with McCain would be bad for the GOP, because it'd show them that they can tick off the working/middle class base on issues like immigration and still get by.

But if McCain wins because of working class voters in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan it just may remind them of their original Reagan coalition and how important it is to hang on to these groups - that they don't have to eke out every election 51-49.

When Coca Cola decided to give us New Coke back in the early 80s they knew exactly what they were doing and acknowledged that they were changing the product (even if it sucked). What the GOP has yet to acknowledge is that they've replaced their orginal CocaCola-ism with, ahem, NeoCocaCola-ism, and the product sucks.

will2power said...

Jews aren't "joining" the race realist movement - they are pioneers in it. Ever hear of Richard Herrnstein, Michael Levin, Michael Hart, Arthur Jensen (half-Jew)?

Add Hans Eysenck. But it's significant that he did not identify as Jewish, like some of the others in your list. And why not include Steve Sailer? He doesn't identify as Jewish either.

Jews are as overrepresented among race realists as they are among race deniers.

Not true, and they don't lead race realism as they have led race denial.

And the bit about "Jewish interests" is ridiculous McDonaldian nonsense.

Then complain to Stephen Steinlight as he argues against the overwhelming Jewish support for mass immigration on the ground that it might not be good for... Jewish interests:

Will a country in which enormous demographic and cultural change, fueled by unceasing large-scale non-European immigration, remain one in which Jewish life will continue to flourish as nowhere else in the history of the Diaspora? In an America in which people of color form the plurality, as has already happened in California, most with little or no historical experience with or knowledge of Jews, will Jewish sensitivities continue to enjoy extraordinarily high levels of deference and will Jewish interests continue to receive special protection?

http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/back1301.html

SFG said...

Only the developments since the 60s? Ha! Seems to me there was something happened not long before the 60s that blamed the Jews for lots of other things.
Well, I did make a reference to the guy with the mustache. ;) I was thinking mostly of the paleocons with their obsession with the Frankfurt School.

Seems to me it's quite possible for a nation of people to shit their own nest even without lots of Jews around. Lots of nations doing that right now, in fact. The question is are nations more likely to shit their own nest because of the presence of (relatively) large numbers of Jews? Are Jews, either through their numbers or, more likely, their outsized intellectual, financial, cultural and political influence, more likely to cause a nation to shit its own nest? That's a reasonable discussion.
Iffy. The welfare mess seems to have been started by the Episcopalians who wanted to copy the Swedes. God had been declining for a while before Freud and Marx showed up; you can blame Newton and Kepler for that. You don't need God to explain the mysteries of the universe anymore. The immigration thing you guys might have a point about.

To blame "the Jews" for making up their minds based on what in their minds is in the best interests of "the Jews" seems to me a bit silly. Surely some very weak minds do: John Podhoretz, etc. But there are plenty of Jews on the right side of the race/immigration/whatever debates: Mickey Kaus, David Frum, Ira Mehlman, Steven Steinlight, Jonah Goldberg, Marcus Epstein, Mark Steyn (partly), etc.
Every group is going to advocate for its own national interests; Irish-Americans were notorious for sending money to the IRA. The problem is that Israel happens to piss off our oil suppliers. Not that I'm a huge fan of the Arabs, mind you. I'd love to invent some giant solar cell and tell them to sod off. But until that happens...

Now unless you have solid evidence to prove it, blaming "the Jews" for deciding their positions on things based on some alleged groupthink is shitting your nest, since we shouldn't want to marginalize a potential ally on any issue.
You're not going to win the Jews over; everyone still remembers the doomed voyage of the St. Louis among other things. Jews in 300 years are still going to be talking about the Holocaust; the death of one-third of your people is not something easily forgotten.

It's more a matter of not looking like an anti-Semite etc. to the general public. Like it or not Hitler permanently gave white nationalism a bad name; say racial ideology and the other image in people's minds besides segregated bathrooms is giant mass graves full of bodies in Auschwitz. Not to mention the dude was too nationalistic and warlike; sure you can decry the pussyism of modern American liberals, but WWII ended with, as Steve said, Russian soldiers raping German women in the ruins of Berlin. That's about the lowest you can go as a nation. The Germans had the good luck to be conquered by the Brits and us; if the Russians had taken the whole country it would be a depressed mess like Eastern Europe. I knew a Romanian woman who hated the Russians because, as she said, 'we used to be a first world country until they came'. But fascism was a flop or, rather, a ruinous blunder. The Germans got off pretty light considering all they did, and they still couldn't sing their national anthem in public for sixty years! Some national rebirth.